It's always tempting to make excuses for our past selves, to tell a story about how, despite the appearance of continual failure and waste, we were actually in the right all along.
It's not true. If we were really in the right, we wouldn't need to strain to tell a complicated story explaining why; it would just be obvious from appearances.
When I find myself tempted to tell stories, it takes a deliberate effort to remind myself to be honest, but it's important. I was a fool; I was worse than a fool, and maybe I happened to get away with it, sort of, so far, but there's so much that I should have known, should have guessed, should have realized, should have considered. Of course there's no use dwelling on it overmuch, for we cannot make decisions about the past. But that's not the same as it being okay that it happened that way. It's not.